Share

(This is an article I wrote for Manfrotto Advanced Bags originally published on the Manfrotto Bags web site.)

Shooting both photo and cinema requires me to always have quite a few pieces of gear on hand and the room to cram in more on the fly. In a matter of days I had a maternity shoot, a family shoot and a project for Rutgers Newark. The variety of gear that I need to carry with me needs to be in one place so I can set up quickly and have my inventory available to me at all times.

What I like about the bag is it fits everything I need for a shoot including two Canon 6Ds, all three of my lenses, two flashes, transceivers, memory cards, gaffer tape, BeFree tripod and extra batteries. The pack feels sturdy on my back and the straps distribute the weight evenly. No painful digging into my shoulders. I remember when I first started out and thought bags were nonsense. But a great bag is crucial to staying organized and saving your back from unwanted stress.

The Simko Family joined me at Duke Island Park (Hillsborough, New Jersey) for a family session focusing on their children. It was a very cold day, so it was crucial to work quickly and nail their personalities before the cold took its toll on cheeks and noses. I usually keep my setup light and easy to carry for outdoor sessions like this. One bag and a lightstand for a bit of off camera flash when needed.

Manfrotto bag in Hillsborough, NJ

One lightstand, BeFree tripod and Tri Backpack

Kids being kids. I love the calm to one side and the action on the other.

Kids being kids. I love the calm to one side and the action on the other.

Rima’s maternity shoot (Lawrenceville, New Jersey) was done in the comfort of her home. The living room had plenty of natural light, but I wanted to warm up the inside a bit, so I setup an umbrella and flash with a light orange gel. Just enough to kiss the room with a slight warmth. I don’t normally like blowing out backgrounds, but I liked having the room hug her in glowing light. This is a very happy time, but it’s also important to convey that feeling by making the person feel totally comfortable. I practice the advice I’ve learned when it comes to more intimate portrait settings. Talk to the person and make them feel like it’s no big deal to be in front of a camera. Everything kind of writes itself once you’ve established that.

Rima's maternity session

Rima’s maternity session

Rutgers University has hired me recently to document events hosted at the school campuses. This particular event (Newark, New Jersey) dealt more with video and put my Tri Backpack to the test. There’s quite a bit more involved with video compared to photo. Lavalier microphone, external audio recorder, LED light, extra batteries, headphones, etc. All of these items are a standard and I’m ecstatic that I can fit this array of equipment into a single bag.

Mayor Baraka speaks at GradNation

Mayor Baraka (Newark, NJ) speaks at GradNation

Manfrotto in Newark, NJ

Newark always has some sort of crazy construction going on. I intentionally framed this to look like the crane is coming out of the bag.

Of course when a friend is just minutes from boarding a bus (New York, New York) to the airport it’s a perfect time to do a headshot. Because I’m a swell guy! Sara teaches at the University of South Dakota and needed a new headshot for her school page. No problem, Sara, and safe travels.

Portrait of Sara Lampert

Sara Lampert, Assistant Professor, History, College of Arts & Sciences at the University of South Dakota

Then I headed to Times Square for some long exposure shots of the tourists. I could have sat there all day watching people enjoying their time in New York City.

Times Square, NYC. 50mm @ f/16. 20 second exposure.

Times Square, NYC. 50mm @ f/16. 20 second exposure.

Manfrotto in New York City, New York

All I need for a day trip into Manhattan.